Sun joins dermatology rush with $230M DUSA buyout

Dermatology is hot. Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) has been snapping up skin-remedy companies, including its recent $2.6 billion deal for Medicis. Novartis' generics unit Sandoz agreed in May to buy U.S.-based Fougera Pharmaceuticals, to become the biggest player in dermatology generics.

Now, India-based Sun Pharmaceutical is joining the party. It's buying U.S. drugmaker DUSA Pharmaceuticals for about $230 million, or $8 per share, a 38% premium to yesterday's closing price. The key prizes: DUSA's Levulan combination therapy, used to treat non-hyperkeratotic actinic keratoses, and BLU-U, used to treat acne.

"DUSA has proven technical capabilities in photodynamic skin treatments, with USFDA approved manufacturing," Sun Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said in a statement. "DUSA's business brings us an entry into dermatological treatment devices, where we see good growth opportunities."

Indeed, as ICICI Direct analyst Siddhant Khandekar told Reuters, dermatology "was the only area, a growing one, where Sun did not have products in the United States. Plus, DUSA's business fits nicely with Tara Pharmaceutical, a majority-owned subsidiary that Sun is in the process of acquiring fully. "This acquisition will actually complement Taro's existing business, which has a strong dermatology product range," Khandekar said.

- see the release from Sun
- read the Reuters story